Jeannie and the Gentle Giants


152 pages
ISBN 0-921870-91-4
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Dosi Cotroneo

Dosi Cotroneo is a freelance writer living in Manotick, Ontario.


Jeannie’s life with her mom is not perfect, but at least they always
have each other. At times, Jeannie is more like a mom than a daughter,
especially those days when Mom can’t get out of bed. One day Jeannie
comes home from school to find her life has changed in an instant. The
police and an ambulance are parked in front of her apartment.
“What’s happened to my mom?” she cries. Suddenly Jeannie finds
herself being sent to a group home, and then to a foster family in the

All of this seems to be too much for a young girl. Even though her
foster parents are wonderful, living in the country away from Kelowna
and life with her mom is more than she can bear. Why can’t she visit
or talk to her mom anyway?

Jeannie’s adjustment to her new life is helped along by the horses
she takes care of and learns how to ride. She soon makes new friends and
grows to love the farm, the animals, and her beautiful room. This is a
life she could only have dreamed of. As her mom slowly recovers, Jeannie
realizes that the farm is where she wishes she could stay forever.

Now her mom is ready to have her back. Can Jeannie return to her old
life of moving from place to place, not having good food, and taking
care of her mom? The young girl feels pulled in two. Then her dear
friend Arnold helps her put things in perspective: Jeannie now has two
families that want to take care of her, and she is loved by many.

Heartwarming, uplifting, and a real tear-jerker at times, this
well-written story is a must-read. Armstrong does a fine job in
developing her characters, with believable dialogue and realistic
circumstances. Highly recommended.


Armstrong, Luanne., “Jeannie and the Gentle Giants,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,